The Grunsteins’ journey is our journey. Their deeds and dreams are part of our own.
Upon the Lion and the Serpent employs no gentle words to tell the story of the Grunsteins, some of whom live in war-torn geographies, many who face hatred and hardships, and all pull “their hearts out of their bodies and hold them suspended,” while praying for better days.
One has dementia.
Another is at risk for losing a limb.
A bus bombing has transformed a third into a window.
A fourth is in dire debt.
All the same, the Grunsteins celebrate weddings, new jobs, health triumphs, and community victories. They rejoice in Creation’s gifts as they embrace the red cyclamen of the Galilee, the blue skies of the Golan, and the golden stones of Jerusalem. Spread among: Squirrel Hill, Oak Park, Lakewood, Zürich, Tsfat, and the Old City, this family’s imperfect, intermittently funny and tragic members give us pause for reflection.
Unlike the Grunsteins, we might not have to - wait for clearance when bombs are dropping; negotiate tee-shirt diapers; or ration toilet paper - like them, we walk gauntlets; grapple with “growth opportunities,” and try to blend our head-in-the-heavens idealism with feet-on-the-ground reality.
UPON THE LION AND THE SERPENT